Juventus' Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi give Genoa fits
By defeating Genoa 2-0 in the Coppa Italia, Juventus have qualified for the quarterfinal and achieved yet another objective for the season thus far.
Genoa looked more concerned with halting Juventus than creating danger allowing Juventus to take control of the match. With an attack spearheaded by Paulo Dybala, Juve looked dominant and in control as the wide men created opportunities and Dybala played with great mobility to demonstrate the side's superiority.
Genoa only sprang to life in the second half, forcing a save from Wojciech Szczesny but Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to score another and ensure a place in the quarterfinal of the Coppa Italia.
It was interesting to see Dybala deployed as a centre-forward and it worked well, as he scored a goal, his first since Nov. 19, and assisted another. Playing with composure and intelligence, the result should help take the edge off and allow him to play his next matches with a greater level of confidence and authority.
At times, Juve run a few risks at the back when they consider themselves superior, succumbing to sloppy play that allows the opponent to cause danger. Discipline, intensity and accuracy are important values to maintain throughout the duration of the match.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Another win and another clean sheet for Massimiliano Allegri's team. Despite heavily rotating, Juventus always looked in control and the dominant force and took the match seriously, playing at a high level to ensure qualification to the next round of the competition.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK, Wojciech Szczesny, 6 -- Despite an easy first half, the goalkeeper was alert to danger and prevented Andrej Galabinov from making an impact.
DF Stephan Lichtsteiner, 6 - He's tactically a good player, with the right ideas when it comes to serving the team but his execution lets him down.
DF Andrea Barzagli, 5 -- Made a mistake to allow Genoa a chance. Not as concentrated and measured as usual.
DF Daniele Rugani, 6 -- Despite Genoa not creating many chances, Rugani never looked assured at the back and has yet to convince. Suffered against Galabinov.
DF Kwadwo Asamoah, 6 -- Nearly gave away a penalty and Asamoah must be more concentrated and accurate when on the ball. Error prone today.
MF Claudio Marchisio, 6 -- A very good performance from the player who exploited the right gaps, made the right runs and provided Dybala with the assist for the goal. Intelligent.
MF Rodrigo Bentancur, 6 -- Carried out his tasks well, playing with authority and composure. Understood what needed to be done from both roles he undertook on the night.
MF Stefano Sturaro, 5 -- The poor man's Blaise Matuidi, Sturaro covers ground, plays with energy and desire but never quite knows how to provide value.
FW Federico Bernardeschi, 7 -- If he's in the mood, he's one of the very best within the side, often providing magic and substance on the ball. Perfect at the start of the match and always looked to provide quality play in the final third. The sooner he settles in completely, the sooner he'll be the ace up Allegri's sleeve.
FW Paulo Dybala, 8 -- Mobile and smart, Dybala scored a goal and created another to ensure the win.
FW Douglas Costa, 6 -- Always looks dangerous on the ball and always capable of terrifying the opponent but he plays in fits and starts. Struggles to maintain a high level throughout 90 minutes.
FW Gonzalo Higuain, 7 -- Came on and sealed the result with a goal. Confident and efficient.
DF Giorgio Chiellini, NR -- Didn't make much of an impact.
MF Blaise Matuidi, NR -- Wasn't offered enough time.
Mina Rzouki covers Juventus and the Italian national team for ESPN FC. Follow her on Twitter: @Minarzouki.